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Posts with tag music

YouTube Skyrim cover phenom Malukah on epic music and playing WoW

Hauntingly beautiful music from a hauntingly beautiful voice ... You'd have to have the soul of a black dragon not to be transported by the strains of video game music composer, arranger, and musician Malukah of Monterrey, Mexico. Malu's evocative cover of "The Dragonborn Comes" from Bethesda's video game Skyrim catapulted the unassuming musician to more than 8 million views across her own channel, Bethesda's blog, and countless other gaming sites that couldn't get enough of her ethereal voice.

And wouldn't you know it? She's a World of Warcraft player. While she was reluctant to discuss exactly which WoW track she's been toying with for an upcoming cover (but come on, given her style, is it so difficult to figure out?), we did get her to chat with us about her music and her love of gaming: Malukah, on the cusp of becoming a musical force to be reckoned with.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Cranius and Sharm team up for duo album

Cranius and Sharm team up for a duo album
Folks who enjoy the World of Warcraft musical scene probably already recognize the names Cranius and Sharm. Individually, these two people have each created huge swaths of music that've inspired WoW players for year. That's why it's so exciting that the two of them are teaming up to release a duo album.

The album will consist of entirely original work -- no parodies, riffs, or mere covers of other people's songs. The pair had tried to make the collaboration work while Sharm was in the U.K., but things weren't working out so well. What to do? Sharm jumped on a plane and flew out to Seattle, where Sharm and Cranius will spend the next few months recording the album.

Here's hoping everything goes smoothly and quickly. We can't wait to hear the results! And while it's exciting that the album is entirely original, we wouldn't hate a fresh cover of Darrowshire with some duet action.

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: What is your class theme song?

In a past edition of The Queue, evoxpisces asked,
If each class had its own theme song, what would they be? Or at least what genres would each represent them?
Some commenters answered with their opinions, but I didn't read them because I wanted to form my own list without anyone's influence. What do you think of my list? What theme song or genre would you choose for your class or all classes?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What would be your victory music?

Recently I wrote a quick mini-Addon Spotlight article on how to jazz up your boss kills by adding custom victory music. Who doesn't love to get pumped up the second a boss hits the floor? You're there DPSing your heart out, ticking away the percentages in your mind: 5%. 4. 3. 2. 1. With all cylinders firing, you're hit by the first note of the victory song as it pours its musical bliss into your ears.

When it comes to victory songs, I like to stay with songs that are fast and fun from the get-go. It's your cooling-off period -- you've just poured blood, sweat and tears into a boss fight, and now you get to relax. Sit back, listen to the music, roll on loot, and feel like a badass.

My victory song would have to be something like Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy. I linked the song at the top of the post for anyone not familiar with it. It's what many people call a trailer song in that it is a tune that you hear in movie and game trailers frequently. For instance, you'll recognize Invaders Must Die from such trailers as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Duke Nukem Forever. It has a sordid past.

What is your victory song? Which song gets you rocked and ready for the next boss encounter or some good relaxing time after a night of hard work? Which song plays when the bar his 0%?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What do you listen to while playing?

I was raiding with my guild last Tuesday evening, and while we repeatedly wiped and had ever more tense discussions about why that was happening, I noticed that one of the guys talking on Vent sounded like he might be playing WoW in the back room of a nightclub where a particularly energetic rave was taking place. I also know a few people who have the TV on in the background while murdering bosses with their guild, whether to provide a distraction or because their other half wants some entertainment while they're completely entrenched in a virtual world, I'm not sure.

I don't listen to music while raiding, and especially not while PvPing. I need the audio cues to establish whether my spells are coming off, whether I'm critting (restoration shaman make a funny little noise when that happens), whether certain effects are landing, whether that warrior is Bladestorming, and so on. Of course there are visual clues as well, and for many people they will be sufficient, but I often find that, particularly in the Arena, I need all the help I can get! Also, while I do my best to keep track of every player at all times, in a 5v5 match, it's quite feasible that I can't keep my camera pointing at all 10 people, so the audio helps a great deal. I also find that music or TV can be distracting.

This is, of course, not leveled as a criticism to those who do play with music in the background, as ever with gaming is a case of diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. I can completely understand the use of music as a motivational tool or to amp yourself up for something challenging or to calm yourself down when things aren't going as you'd hoped.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

New music section launches on Blizzard community site

Soundtrack aficionados, rejoice! Blizzard has just announced the launch of a new music section on its community site.

So far, the new feature offers a convenient embed of the iTunes storefront to make it easier to find, preview, and buy songs (or full albums) from World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. Additionally, the section offers history, credits, and photos for those interested in reading about the creation of the music. Albums for newer games are especially detailed, with forwards from some of the composers and notes for individual songs. Currently, there are 10 albums in total and one single from Diablo 3.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find out if that track from that Night Elf island in the Ghostlands is available. Best music in the game, I tell you!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Breakfast Topic: What do you listen to while you play WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Your listening music for today's Breakfast Topic shall be A Whole New World from Disney's Aladdin. Rake in the nostalgia.

I grew up eagerly anticipating the latest Disney animated film. The first movie I can recall seeing in theaters was Hunchback of Notre Dame. The music has always stuck with me, and to this day, I have an extensive Disney music collection -- from the Oscar winners (Beauty and the Beast, A Whole New World) to the lesser known but still powerful (Hellfire/Heaven's Light), I've got most every song to come out of that studio. And when I play WoW, that playlist is on an infinite loop.

The in-game music has matured with the game, and the tracks introduced with Cataclysm are incredibly powerful and impacting. When the Shattering login music leaked, universal praise was given to the track, with many people -- myself included -- looping the 12-minute masterpiece for a good while.

And yet, despite the excellent default tracks, many people -- again, myself included -- choose to mute the sound of the music and replace it with a soundtrack of their own choosing. You can tell a lot about the way people game based on the music they listen to. Immersion gamers tend to listen to the default sounds, while more competitive types may replace it for a more high-energy sound.

What music graces your ears as you play, and what does it say about you?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

15 Minutes of Fame: Student composer brings WoW music to video game choir

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

You have to admit: Running your own choir to perform video game music is a pretty sweet gig for a portfolio-building college student. "We perform student arrangements of game music, and last fall we decided to do a WoW medley," explains Video Game Choir Founder/Director Julia Seeholzer, aka Bloodsong of Perenolde (US-A). "The choir and orchestra are all student-run, and we're all incredibly passionate about video games!" Julia's passion obviously extends to World of Warcraft; her thoroughly professional tip to WoW Insider concluded with a friendly, "Now, back to my raiding..."

The Video Game Choir is made up of students from Berklee College of Music, the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known primarily as a school for jazz and popular music, the Boston, Mass., school also offers degrees in composition, contemporary writing and production, film scoring, jazz composition, music business/management, music education, music production and engineering, electronic production and design, music therapy, performance, professional music, and songwriting -- a perfect meeting spot for enthusiasts of the burgeoning field of video game music.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Music in World of Warcraft: What does it mean to you?

Musical history was made this week as composer Christopher Tin won the first Grammy award for Best Instrumental with Vocalist. What's so special about this win, you ask? The song that won was "Baba Yetu," the main theme for Sid Meyer's Civilization IV, making this the first piece of video game music to ever win a Grammy. Many well-deserved congratulations to Tim and all who worked on it, as it is a truly stunning piece of music.

After such a monumental occasion, one should consider the role that music plays in our gaming experience -- and in this case, for World of Warcraft. Blizzard has brought on some of the most talented composers, singers and musicians in order to make the music more than just background noise -- it's become part of the entire culture of WoW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite piece of music in WoW?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

World of Warcraft is a game with great sound and great sound design. Players might not always notice it, but for those of us who play with the music on, these themes can really set the tone for the game. Ashenvale music never fails to remind me of my first foray into the zone; after Darkshore, which was a bit bleak, my baby druid stepped into Ashenvale and it seemed like all of Azeroth opened up, wide and colorful and filled with swelling orchestral tracks. Though the game world seems much smaller to me now, I still remember that moment whenever I hear the Ashenvale theme.

My favorite piece of WoW music, however, has got to be the one in Mulgore. I play mainly Alliance, so I don't go there often, but every time I visit the zone for the Darkmoon Faire or head to Thunder Bluff for some holiday achievement, I'm struck by the beauty and tranquility of the Mulgore music. It really fits the environment, and it never fails to relax me when I fly through. The slow, soft yearning reminds me of the Tauren people and their culture, while the undercurrent of tension hints at the conflict brewing in the world outside that secluded valley.

What's your favorite piece of WoW music? Does it remind you of a particular time or a nostalgic feeling, or is it the pure beauty of the composition that you admire? When do you feel the WoW music is at its most epic?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

15 Minutes of Fame: The music of Nathan Allen Pinard

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

You may not recognize the name Nathan Allen Pinard -- but if you're a fan of the machinima scene, you're bound to have heard his stirring musical take on life in Azeroth via the ever-popular Oxhorn machinima. I mean, come on ... If the irresistible compilation of Oxhorn favorites above doesn't get your foot tapping, then you may just have left your heart frozen solid back in Northrend!

As much as we love what he's done with Oxhorn and others, Pinard's known for much more than his music for machinima. Specializing in composing for video games, movies, TV and films as well, Pinard has been hard at work on the score for the sci-fi game Gemini Rue -- oh, and tearing through Cataclysm like a bat out of hell, as well. What's the composer up to lately? There's another Oxhorn machinima in the works, yes, and much more. Join us after the break for the scoop!

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Cataclysm soundtrack composer David Arkenstone

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

There's absolutely nothing like the sweeping vistas of an orchestral soundtrack to help you slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of Azeroth in all its epic glory. One of the composers behind World of Warcraft: Cataclysm's in-game soundtrack, David Arkenstone, took time not only leading up to expansion's launch but again after last night's game launch concert in Fountain Valley, California, to chat exclusively with WoW Insider about painting a new sonic palette for Azeroth.

Arkenstone is one of a team of Cataclysm composers headed by Blizzard's Audio Director Russell Brower that tackled a whopping eight hours of new music for the expansion -- about the same amount of music as was added with Wrath of the Lich King expansion, bringing World of Warcraft's musical tally to something like 36 hours of in-game music. "I think it's exciting for a player to get all this new content at one time," Arkenstone says enthusiastically. "When you have all this music spread out across the word, composers, meshing ... It's hours and hours of music."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What is your favorite World of Warcraft fan art or media?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With the massive number of players logging in every day to WoW, there's an equally expansive amount of art and media coming from that player base. Very few games have ever brought out such a community of creative minds showing the rest of us their vision of a fantasy world. From machinima to custom WoW dolls (I mean action figures -- right, guys?), to Horde/Alliance-themed cakes, there are a ton of different venues for artists of all varieties to express their passion for the game.

I've just recently begun to start watching WoW-based machinima and have discovered there are quite a few masterpieces out there from people who seem talented enough to write or direct feature films. After the Cataclysm launch, I'm going to start an ongoing fan fiction story about a rogue and what his life is like after Deathwing ravages Azeroth. It should be plum full of adventures and high jinks! Although I'd love to include custom artwork with that story, my drawing skill ends at stick figures, so I'll have to use to screen shots.

Out of all the different art, videos, and other "warcrafts," are there any you'd like to participate in? Or maybe you already check out great fan art, make custom troll outfits for cosplay, or bake cupcakes shaped like murlocs. What are your favorites?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

World of WarCrafts: The symphonic sounds of Taylor Goodson

World of WarCrafts spotlights art and creativity by WoW players, including fan art, cooking, comics, cosplay, music, fan fiction and more. Sample the whole spectrum on's Arts and Crafts in WoW page.

The symphonic strains of WoW-inspired composer Rehmaar (aka Taylor Goodson) will sound familiar to World of WarCrafts regulars. His atmospheric "Knights of the Valiant Fury Overture," which we featured back in the spring, was written and dedicated to his guild, <Knights of Valiant Fury> of Destromath (US-H). The spotlight, combined with a growing stream of visitors and encouragement on his YouTube channel, inspired Goodson to continue composing his guild- and character-inspired pieces -- and it inspired us to come back and take a second look at Goodson's work.

World of WarCrafts: Taylor, tell us a little more about your WoW-themed compositions are heading as a whole. Do you have a goal for the project, or are you simply following your muse?

Taylor Goodson: Definitely just following my muse. I would never try to make money off of these pieces (especially since some of the material isn't completely my own -- for example in "Protectors of Azeroth" I used the theme of Stormwind) as they are always just for fun -- I write them for guildmates and friends typically as a gift for accepting me into the guild or just because I really like the people I meet. I have work that has been published before that I make a little money off of, but these pieces will never fall into that category.

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Filed under: World of WarCrafts, Arts and Crafts

Cataclysm Beta: Login screen music

Not much else to say here, folks -- here's your new login screen music in Cataclysm. Twelve minutes of pure epic, with themes from vanilla and every expansion afterward. Lots of references to the original login music starting at 1:30.

For more music from Cataclysm, check out DominikaSents' YouTube channel.

Filed under: Cataclysm

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